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Motif’s Anniversary Beer: My dream come brew

There was a time when I wasn’t a beer fan. How is this possible? My first sip came when I was underage. My father bribed me and my sister to settle down when he was watching a Bruins game. “Will you two keep it down if I give you a taste?” he asked, and it worked. I didn’t like it but it made me feel grown-up, and that I liked.


My taste preferences have changed over the years. When I was in college I drank what I could afford. That limited me to homemade wine and the cheapest 4-pack I could find. I got into Belgian beers when I had a little more income and it was around then that I started looking for beer bars and breweries. I never thought about trying to home brew. This all changed when I met Nichole Pelletier, the owner and brewer of Crooked Current. If you’ve ever met Nichole you’ll understand why I was immediately star struck. Pelletier is talented at her craft and a kind, genuine person who’s been such an inspiration to me. I am sure Pelletier has heard this before, but I told her, “I want to be a female brewer one day.”

A little over five years ago, a friend of mine suggested I become a beer influencer on Instagram. Little did I know how many amazing people I would meet in the beer community near and far. I also joined a Rhode Island beer group on Facebook, and if you like beer and haven’t done this, then I suggest you do. Local beer groups are a great way to meet people in your community who share the common interest of craft beer love. Mike Ryan, publisher of Motif, mentioned on a Facebook beer group page that he was looking for someone interested in writing about local craft beer. That person was me.

I have been writing for Motif for a year and a half now. I absolutely love it! It has been an amazing learning experience and opportunity. I am thankful for the support, patience and encouragement of my editors: Mike Ryan, Meg Coss, and Dana Schneider. Through this column, I have had the pleasure and opportunity to meet brewers and craft beer lovers throughout Rhode Island, which has led me to want to give something back. This August, Motif will celebrate its 20th Anniversary, so I thought: What better way to commemorate this than brewing a beer for this vicennial observance?

Picking a brewery to collaborate with was an easy decision. Picking an artist to do can art was easy as well. Sometimes you just know. Thankfully, I can say with gratitude that both brewery and artist agreed to work with me. Although I have been to quite a few amazing breweries, Vigilant Brewing was my choice. I mentioned the idea to John Otero, Vigilant’s head brewer and his response was all I could hope for. If you have never met Otero, let me introduce you. John Otero is a master at his craft and one of the kindest human beings I have ever met. He has been a great teacher and given me the confidence that we are going to make an amazing beer together. Joey Moreira is the co-owner and tattoo artist of Cloud 9 Tattoo Company. At the 2022 Motif Tattoo Awards, he took home trophies for favorite linework, favorite character, and overall winner; and, in 2023 he won Motif’s Tattoo Award for favorite skull and overall winner. Moreira puts his heart and soul into his work. When his needle touches your skin, the work he creates is inspired by your stories and memories.

Currently, I am working on the hop profile for the anniversary beer. Otero and I have come up with a baseline. Sort of like a recipe for a basic sugar cookie without any added ingredients; however, brewing is not as easy as whipping up your grandmother’s cookie recipe. The art of making a craft beer is much more complicated and I’m enjoying the learning process.

Who would have thought this local craft beer lover would have such an exciting opportunity? I hope that you are all excited as I am and follow my journey. In upcoming articles, I’ll keep you up to date on the details, but for now here’s a sneak peek: The nose is a symphony of tropical aromas. The finish is a nice mix of sweetness and subtle bitterness.

Until next time, cheers to local beers!